Patent Attorney Fees | Patent Lawyer Costs | Intellectual Property
What does a patent attorney cost? How much do patent attorneys charge for their services?




 

Fees Charged for Patent Preparation and Prosecution

$10,000 - $20,000.  Amount in patent and legal fees that a biotech company might end up paying to process a patent.  “The patent process also can be expensive. For example, a basic utility patent application filing fee is $330, plus a utility patent search fee of $540, an examination fee of $220, and patent maintenance fees due after three and a half years total $980, according to the USPTO Fee Schedule. In addition, most IP protection is territorial, so a U.S. patent or trademark only provides protection in the United States. Inventors need to apply for protection in every country the product will be used.  Few business owners know that just one product can require many types of protections, [John Calvert, an administrator with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Inventor Assistance Program] said.  ‘There are so many things that can be protected. ... Business owners need to trademark their logos and copyright advertisements, and you can even protect the bottle your product is packaged in,’ he said.  ‘Together with legal fees, “a biotech company might end up paying $10,000 to $20,000 to have a patent written,’ [Todd Dickinson, executive director of the American Intellectual Property Law Association] said.” (Bridget Botelho, “Patents can be costly but crucial for businesses,” Atlanta Business Chronicle, February 8, 2010)

$10,000 - $20,000.   Patent attorney fees charged for patent preparation and processing.  “Can you afford the cost of a patent attorney to prepare the patent for you? If you can’t afford the $10,000-$20,000 that a patent attorney will charge to do the whole job, you can do much of the process yourself and save money.  However, there are parts of the patent that are essential for a patent attorney to perform. The most important of these are the claims. If the claims are not correctly done, then the patent will likely not be defendable. Strong patents are worth much more money!” How much does an IP lawyer cost? (Dee Reavis, “Will Riches Come From Your Invention Submission,” EzineArticles.com, posted Sunday, November 4, 2007)

$10,000 - $15,000.  Attorney fees charged for preparing a patent application. “[M]ost companies spend between $10,000 and $15,000 in attorney fees to prepare the application.” Patent attorney fees. (Dean Turman, patent attorney at MacCord Mason, Greensboro, North Carolina quoted in Michelle Cater Rash, “Restructuring raises patent fees, could hinder startups,” Business Journal Serving the Greater Triad Area, April 11, 2005)  Peruse one patent attorney's list of top books about patents.

$10,000, on the low end, to file a patent.  “But [Ronald J. Riley, president of the Professional Inventors Alliance USA] and other small inventors also knock the present system:  High legal bills -- inventors can expect to spend $10,000, on the low end, to file a patent; most of that is attorney's fees.” What is the cost of a patent?  What is the cost of a patent?  (Akweli Parker, “Inventor's reality,” Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 23, 2006)

$5000 - $10,000.  "Depending upon the complexity of the invention, a patent attorney's fees generally range from $5,000 to $10,000."  How much a patent attorney charges.  What is the average fee for a patent attorney? (Mark Books, a patent attorney with the law firm Polster, Lieder, Woodruff & Lucchesi in St. Louis. quoted in Williams-Harold, Bevolyn, “You've got it made! (developing invention ideas),” Black Enterprise, June 1, 1999)

$800 - $2000.  Typical fee charged by patent attorneys to inventors for each amendment to a patent.  “Prosecuting the Patent Application Before the USPTO.  Once the [patent application] is filed, it enters a prosecution phase.  In the prosecution phase, each Official Action issued by the USPTO generally results in the need for an Amendment to the application to be prepared. Such amendments typically cost in attorney fees between about $800 and $2000 depending upon the complexity of the required amendment.  During prosecution, it is possible that 2-3 amendments maybe necessary. Accordingly, one can spend an additional $1600 to $6000 for prosecuting the application. If the prosecution phase is successful the USPTO will issue a Notice of Allowance.”  (Jerry R. Potts Esq., “What Does It Cost to Obtain a Patent?,” Jerry RRPLF Potts, Esq., BasicPatents.com, Undated, downloaded Wednesday, June 11, 2008) 


Would you like some professional help from a nonprofit organization in finding a patent attorney?  Inventors Workshop, one of the nation's oldest inventor assistance and support organizations can help you out.  You can contact Inventors Workshop by email, by phone (805-735-7261) or visit Patent-Help-for-Inventors.org.


Time it Takes Attorneys to Write a Patent

25 hours.  Average time it takes for an attorney to write a patent.  “Once a patent lawyer has enough information about the invention, he or she files a patent application, which takes an average of 25 hours to write and costs about $10,000.”  $10,000/25 hours = $400/hour.   IP attorney fees.  Hours to write patent.  (Bob Wise, president of the Texas Inventors Association quoted in Erin Quinn, Tribune-Herald staff writer, “Making an invention idea a reality can be a hard road, Waco-Tribune Herald, Monday, December 10, 2007)

20 hours. Time it takes for an experienced attorney to write a patent for a simple invention. “[Francisco Rubio-Campos, founding partner at Eclipse Group, an intellectual property law firm in Los Angeles] estimates that an application for a simple invention can take an experienced attorney 20 hours to write. The hourly rate is $250 to $400 or more for many Los Angeles-area [intellectual property] attorneys.”  Intellectual property attorney fees.  (Cyndia Zwahlen, “Long Road to a Patent Can Pay Off in Profits,” Los Angeles Times, April 19, 2006)  Find best-selling books on leading intellectual lawyers as well as a directory of intellectual property lawyers & patent agents)?

17 hours.  Estimated amount of time that patent examiners spend on checking an inventor’s patent claims.  “But the patents office is swamped. Patent examiners devote on average only 17 hours to checking an inventor's claim to some unique product, process or idea. They are working through a backlog of more than 400,000 patent claims.”  (Jim Landers, “Trouble impending in patent process,” The Dallas Morning News, May 1, 2007)


Do you have concerns about the cost of patent fees?  Inventors Workshop has a special PatentSaver program for member inventors to help save money on the costs of patenting inventions.  You can contact Inventors Workshop by email, by phone (805-879-1729) or visit PatentSaver.org for more information.


Patent Attorney Hourly Rates and Fees

$600 to $700 per hour.  Estimated range of hourly fees charged by intellectual property attorneys in Los Angeles and New York.  “It's also important to note that there are two factors in determining the cost of protecting an item. There's the cost of registrations with government organizations, as well as the legal fees associated with getting help to file those registrations.  Legal fees vary from firm to firm. Some industry sources estimate that in New York and Los Angeles, attorney fees range from $600 to $700 an hour. That rate differs according to the size of the law firm, the services offered and its specific fee structure.” How much do patent lawyers charge? Patent lawyer fees. (Liza Casabona, “Fighting Knockoffs By Protecting A Brand,” WWD Women’s Wear Daily, February 1, 2006)  Discover more information on strategies for protecting brandprotecting and defending a brand.

$400 per hour.  Hourly fee charged by attorney to write a patent.  “Once a patent lawyer has enough information about the invention, he or she files a patent application, which takes an average of 25 hours to write and costs about $10,000.”  $10,000/25 hours = $400/hour.   IP attorney fees.  Hours per patent.  (Bob Wise, president of the Texas Inventors Association quoted in Erin Quinn, Tribune-Herald staff writer, “Making an invention idea a reality can be a hard road, Waco-Tribune Herald, Monday, December 10, 2007)

$305 per hour.  Median hourly billing rate for law firm equity partners in 2006.  “Nationwide, the median hourly billing rate for [law firm] equity partners was $305 per hour and $200 per hour for associates in 2006, the most recent full-year numbers available at the time of the 2007 study, according to legal consulting company Altman Weil Inc. of Philadelphia.  But rates varied dramatically by firm size, with equity partners in firms with more than 150 lawyers charging a median rate of $375 hourly, up to a median rate of $535 per hour for the top firms in that size category.” How much does a patent attorney make?  Patent attorney billing rates.  (Lisa Tanner, Staff Writer, “Legal fees have increased, and there's still room to grow,” Dallas Business Journal, Friday, February 22, 2008)

$250 to $400 per hour or more.  Hourly rate charged by many Los Angeles intellectual property lawyers.  “[Francisco Rubio-Campos, founding partner at Eclipse Group, an intellectual property law firm in Los Angeles] estimates that an application for a simple invention can take an experienced attorney 20 hours to write. The hourly rate is $250 to $400 or more for many Los Angeles-area [intellectual property] attorneys.” How much do patent attorneys charge? How much money does a patent attorney earn? (Cyndia Zwahlen, “Long Road to a Patent Can Pay Off in Profits,” Los Angeles Times, April 19, 2006)  Find best-selling books on leading intellectual property lawyers as well as a directory of intellectual property lawyers & patent agents.


Do you have questions about patent-related fees or patent attorney rates and fees?  If you do, you may wish to contact Inventors Workshop International (IWI).  IWI is one of the nation's oldest nonprofit inventor help organizations.  It has been helping inventors patent inventions for more than 35 years. The organization provides personal mentoring and one-on-one counseling assistance.  IWI has a special PatentSaver program for member inventors to help save money on the costs of patenting inventions.  You can contact Inventors Workshop by email, by phone (805-879-1729) or visit Patent-Help-for-Inventors.org.


$150 per hour and up.  Hourly patent attorney fees in the Vancouver, Washington area in 2002.  “The patent application process is not cheap. Aside from hourly patent attorney fees ($150 per hour and up) filing fees, publication fees, issuing fee, and other fees can cost an independent inventor upwards of $5,000 to get a patent for a simple mechanical invention; a more complex electronic invention can cost more than $10,000.”  How much does it cost for a patent lawyer? (Jodie Gilmore, “Patent attorneys offer expert guidance for inventors,” Vancouver Business Journal, (Vancouver, Washington), August 23, 2002) Find more information about the Vancouver, Washington law firm of Kurt M. Rylander Trial & Patent Attorney at Law PC.  Contact Kurt M. Rylander


What are the most important factors to consider when choosing a patent attorney?  How much does patent litigation cost?

What questions should you ask when interviewing a patent lawyer that you are thinking about hiring? 

What kinds of sales pitches from patent lawyers should you be wary of?

How much does it cost to obtain a patent?  What does it cost to obtain worldwide patent rights?


Salaries of Patent Attorneys, IP Attorneys and IP Paralegals

How much does a patent attorney make?

$700,000 to $1 million.  Typical salaries paid to Intellectual Property partners hired at a top U.S. law firms.  “Paychecks reflect the high value placed on these specialized [Intellectual Property] lawyers. An IP [intellectual property] partner at a top firm typically is hired at $700,000 or $800,000, even $1 million a year, with the most meager book of business -- the work that comes with them, [San Francisco-based recruiter Avis Caravello] said.  First-year associates at large firms can expect a 10 percent to 15 percent premium over base pay of about $160,000.” How much does a patent attorney make?  (June Arney, “Law firms on hunt for patent attorneys,” Baltimore Sun, June 26, 2007)

$109,725 to $201,300.  Range of annual pay for San Diego attorneys.  “[D]emand for IP attorneys continues to grow, right along with the technology that fuels it.  Consider that in Robert Half Legal's 2005 Salary Guide, San Diego attorneys with four to nine-plus years' experience in large firms earned from $129,800 to $201,300; midsize from $95,150 to $150,700; small to midsize from $75,075 to $127,600; and small $61,050 to $109,725.  But IP attorneys can command salaries that are way off the scale, according to Kristin Kanter, branch manager for Robert Half International Inc., and so can their staffs. IP attorneys, paralegals and secretaries can earn from $5,000 to $15,000 per year more if they have at least three years of experience…” How much does a patent attorney make?  How much does an IP attorney make? (Pat Broderick, SDBJ Staff writer, “Law, Science marriage appeals to some attorneys: intellectual property lawyers must have technical know-how and sound judgment,” San Diego Business Journal, August 1, 2005)

$100,000.  Salary that a first-year patent lawyer can expect to earn.  “What kind of salary can a first-year patent lawyer expect to earn? In the range of $100,000, plus benefits. (Todd Stringer, “Education in law, sciences pays off for patent attorneys,” Nashville Business Journal, Friday, December 19, 2008)



Number of Patent Attorneys

33,000.  Estimated number of patent attorneys in the U.S.  “Meanwhile, about 3 percent [33,000] of the nation's 1.1 million active lawyers specialize in the demanding [intellectual property/patent] field, which requires scientific or technical expertise in addition to a law degree. Patent lawyers also must pass a specialized test on top of the regular bar exam. Maryland has about 230 intellectual property lawyers, according to the state bar association.” (June Arney, “Law firms on hunt for patent attorneys,” Baltimore Sun, June 26, 2007)

21,000.  Number of licensed patent attorneys in the U.S.  “The application for a patent is a complex document and typically requires that you file through a patent lawyer or patent agent. They are licensed to appear before the patent office. There are more than 21,000 licensed patent attorneys…”  (AllBusiness.com, “Got a great invention? Be sure to get competent help to patent it,” San Francisco Chronicle, p. C-4, Wednesday, March 29, 2006)

17,000.  Number of attorneys in the U.S. specializing in patent law.  “While the legal field may be burgeoning, relatively few patent lawyers graduate each year and even fewer are interested in locating in the Midwest. In a recent year, 260 patent attorneys graduated from law school. Out of a total pool of about 350,000 attorneys in the country, only about 17,000 specialize in patent law.” (Clare Howard, “Peoria, Ill., Law Firm Helps Area Inventors Procure Patents,” Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News, October 10, 2000)

260.  Number of patent attorneys graduating from law school in a recent year.  “While the legal field may be burgeoning, relatively few patent lawyers graduate each year and even fewer are interested in locating in the Midwest. In a recent year, 260 patent attorneys graduated from law school. Out of a total pool of about 350,000 attorneys in the country, only about 17,000 specialize in patent law.” (Clare Howard, “Peoria, Ill., Law Firm Helps Area Inventors Procure Patents,” Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News, October 10, 2000)


Number of Patent Agents

7,000.  Number of licensed patent agents in the U.S.  “The application for a patent is a complex document and typically requires that you file through a patent lawyer or patent agent. They are licensed to appear before the patent office. There are more than 21,000 licensed patent attorneys and nearly 7,000 licensed patent agents…”   (AllBusiness.com, “Got a great invention? Be sure to get competent help to patent it,” San Francisco Chronicle, p. C-4, Wednesday, March 29, 2006)


Patent Examiner Salaries

$69,899 - $90,866.  Annual salary offered in 2010 by the USPTO for the position of patent examiner in an effort to help reduce the patent backlog.  “With a backlog of more than 700,000 patent applications, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office needs all the help it can get. It'll have plenty to choose from - in response to a recent patent examiner vacancy announcement, the agency was flooded with more than 4,000 applications.  The PTO will hire 250 of them, part of a push to reduce chronic backlog problems. It now takes about three years on average for a patent to issue. . . The [patent examiner] positions pay between $69,899 and $90,866 a year – no weekend of evening work expected. The bare qualitifactions: you must be a U.S. citizen, have a college degree in science or engineering, and be willing to work at the agency’s headquarters in Alexandria, Va.” (Jenna Greene, , “PTO Goes on a Hiring Spree in Effort to Reduce Patent Backlog,” Legal Times Blog, March 17, 2010)

$32,000.  Starting salary of a patent examiner at the USPTO.  “The diversion of patent fees has made it hard for the office to recruit and retain qualified examiners, whose salary scale starts at $32,000. Indeed, during the economic boom of the late '90s, the agency lost hundreds of examiners to the more lucrative private sector. In the year 2000 alone, 437 examiners left their jobs, while just 375 were hired. Yet between 1996 and 2000, patent applications grew over 50 percent. And the office was caught flat-footed when a federal court in 1998 upheld a patent for a computerized method of calculating share prices for mutual funds. Following the ruling, the patent office was flooded by applications for business methods, such as Amazon's controversial "one click" checkout system for online ordering. Short on M.B.A.'s, the office was forced to hire more business-qualified examiners. In an effort to attract them, the agency hiked salaries, instituted flexible work hours, and added graduate-school benefits. But it is still desperate to catch up.”( Megan Barnett, “Patents pending”, U.S. News & World Report, June 10, 2002)